Not long ago I was at a hickory golf day organized by the British Golf Collectors Society when I fell into conversation with a fellow enthusiast who was deeply saddened as his favourite playable mashie was due to be relegated forever to the wall as the shaft had severely cracked under the grip.
Now in the past I have purchased hickories and removed grips to find that a shaft has been extended by what I’ll call a “mortice and tenon” type joint. A hole had been drilled into the top of the remaining shaft and an extension with a portion turned down to fit inside it has been added so that the pieces met squarely. This method is very time consuming and difficult to do properly plus it is only really suitable for clubs that will become wall hangars only.
The best method of extending a shaft on a club to be used for play, as I advised my new friend, draws on a method well known to many collectors; a scarf or scare joint ( referred to as a splice by many ).
There are a few things to know if you wish to do this on a club for play.
1) ensure that the original shaft was fitted with the end grain of the wood lying in the “direction of shot” ( i.e horizontal when looking end-on to the shaft with the blade of the club sticking straight up ). A surprising number of hickory golf clubs are still to be found where the shaft has been incorrectly fitted. The scare must be cut also horizontal following the grain, and not across it which will leave the wood prone to splitting as soon as the club is used.
2) ensure that the length of the scare is in excess of four inches to give plenty of contacting material at the join between the two pieces.
3) once you’ve cut the two pieces and have offered them up against each other , before you glue them roughen up each flat area to enable the glue to “key” into the grain (i.e avoid the simple mistake of making them too smooth! )
4) use a suitable adhesive which is not too brittle, yet of adequate strength. Take advice from your local hardware store.
I have extended quite a number of clubs for play and this method has been proved to work if done with some care.
If you have a hickory golf club which requires extension or repair and don’t wish to do it yourself, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
( Gavin Bottrell email@example.com )